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While We Wait - History of War

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Drew Dennis Dix Date of birth: December 14, 1944                      681.jpg
Date of death: Still Living
Place of Birth: New York, West Point
Home of record: Pueblo Colorado
Medal of Honor See more recipients of this award

Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Drew Dennis Dix, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a unit advisor with Senior Advisor Group, IV Corps, Military Assistance Command, in action against enemy aggressor forces at Chau Doc Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 31 January and 1 February 1968. Two heavily armed Viet Cong battalions attacked the Province capital city of Chau Phu resulting in the complete breakdown and fragmentation of the defenses of the city. Staff Sergeant Dix, with a patrol of Vietnamese soldiers, was recalled to assist in the defense of Chau Phu. Learning that a nurse was trapped in a house near the center of the city, Staff Sergeant Dix organized a relief force, successfully rescued the nurse, and returned her to the safety of the Tactical Operations Center. Being informed of other trapped civilians within the city, Staff Sergeant Dix voluntarily led another force to rescue eight civilian employees located in a building which was under heavy mortar and small-arms fire. Staff Sergeant Dix then returned to the center of the city. Upon approaching a building, he was subjected to intense automatic rifle and machinegun fire from an unknown number of Viet Cong. He personally assaulted the building, killing six Viet Cong, and rescuing two Filipinos. The following day Staff Sergeant Dix, still on his own volition, assembled a 20-man force and though under intense enemy fire cleared the Viet Cong out of the hotel, theater, and other adjacent buildings within the city. During this portion of the attack, Army Republic of Vietnam soldiers inspired by the heroism and success of Staff Sergeant Dix, rallied and commenced firing upon the Viet Cong. Staff Sergeant Dix captured 20 prisoners, including a high ranking Viet Cong official. He then attacked enemy troops who had entered the residence of the Deputy Province Chief and was successful in rescuing the official's wife and children. Staff Sergeant Dix's personal heroic actions resulted in 14 confirmed Viet Cong killed in action and possibly 25 more, the capture of 20 prisoners, 15 weapons, and the rescue of the 14 United States and free world civilians. The heroism of Staff Sergeant Dix was in the highest tradition and reflects great credit upon the United States Army.

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 10 (February 6, 1969)

Action Date: January 31 & February 1, 1968
Service: Army

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Company: Senior Advisor Group

Regiment: IV Corps

Division: Military Assistance Command                 :salute:
Edited by vietnam1969
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Chief Warrant Officer, U.S. Army  Company C, 227th Aviation Battalion, 
1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)

ferguson_81_2.jpgFrederick Ferguson got a part-time job driving a gas truck to pay for flying lessons while serving out his enlistment in the Navy, earning his pilot’s license before his discharge in 1962. Over the next two years, he hung out at airports and got his commercial license. Then he took his first helicopter ride and knew instantly that he wanted to be a helicopter pilot. He joined the Army’s Warrant Officer program and graduated from the nine-month program in May 1967 certified in rotary-winged aircraft. Two weeks later, he was in Vietnam, a copilot with the 227th Aviation Battalion of the 1st Cavalry (Airmobile). By August he was in command of his own helicopter, a UH-1D slick.

On January 31, 1968, at the beginning of the Tet Offensive, Chief Warrant Officer Ferguson was flying back to base, having just dropped off engineers to repair a damaged truck. As he was monitoring the radio traffic, he heard that a helicopter carrying members of the 1st Cavalry had gone down in the enemy-controlled city of Hue and that another helicopter had been badly shot up in a failed attempt to rescue them. “The Air Cav doesn’t leave its men behind,” Ferguson said to his three-man crew. They all agreed that they should go get the downed Americans.

Waiting to refuel at his base, Ferguson asked the crews of three Huey gunships if they wanted to accompany him on a rescue mission. “Why not?” was the reply, and the four helicopters took off.

On the ground, the beleaguered GIs had taken refuge in a tiny, isolated South Vietnamese Army compound, reporting by radio that they were under heavy fire. Ferguson circled until the fire abated; he knew he would have to get in and out quickly because enemy mortars had already targeted the site.

Then, despite warnings to stay clear of the area, Ferguson and his gunship escort began a low-level flight at maximum airspeed along the Perfume River. The North Vietnamese were everywhere, and the gunships were firing at them constantly. Ferguson located the compound, stood his helicopter on its tail, and began to descend blindly in the dust storm created by his rotors. When he touched down, he saw that there was a one-foot clearance between a flagpole and a rotor blade on one side of the craft and one foot between the blade and a wall on the other.

As the GIs quickly got on board, the enemy mortar fire began. One shell hit near the helicopter’s tail. When the last man was pulled aboard and Ferguson was powering the helicopter straight up, another mortar hit beneath him, spinning the craft 180 degrees. He regained control, put his nose down, and headed out.

One of the Hueys was shot down as it was heading back to base, but its crew was rescued. The other two that did manage to land were so badly damaged that they were no longer able to fly.

Ferguson went home in June. He was serving as an instructor at Fort Walters in Texas a year later when he received a call from the Pentagon ordering him to go to Washington. President Richard Nixon presented him with the Medal of Honor on May 17, 1969.

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Everytime that I read something about a soldier being presented the Medal of Valor it make me proud of of my 20 years of military service. The other day I was watching the local PBS station in Florida. They was showing the history of the 65th Infantry Regiment from Puerto Rico and all the heroic action done by such Regiment in Korea and not one soldier was presented with the Medal of Honor. Why such part of our military history have been kept from the American People. As a Retired Service member the military is selective with who receipt awards, not by action during combat but by who summitt the request. By Race, Skin Color or Etnity. Again I will always honor all the Medal of Honor recipiants for the Valor they show in combat.

Jose Hernandez (Sent Jul 3, 2007 4:42:53 PM)

Chief Warrant Officer Frederick E. Ferguson was a great helicopter pilot manuevering between the flagpole and the wall. He showed alot of skill to recapture control of the craft after a mortar hit beneath them. He saved the crew and was a brave and dedicated soldier. A very deserving recipient of the Medal of Honor. We salute him!

Lisa McNeil,Alpharetta,Georgia (Sent Jun 29, 2007 7:28:01 PM)

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Frederick_E_Ferguson_MOH.jpg 90 × 112(5 KB) Jwillbur {{Information |Description={{en|1=United States Army Major Frederick E. Ferguson earned theMedal of Honor for his actions during the Tet Offensive Jan. 31, 1968. He was the first Army aviator to receive the Medal of Honor in Vietnam. President Richar

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Feb. 1, 2014 10:23pm Mike Opelka
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Sunday is February 2 – an important day. Of course most Americans will be thinking about the Super Bowl or wondering if the groundhog saw his shadow — signaling that this winter still has more tough weather to deliver.

But a considerable number of people will stop on Sunday to remember an American military hero who was lost just one year ago.


Image: Chris Kyle Memorial Trust

It was on 2.2.2013 that Chris Kyle, a former Navy SEAL and the man known as “America’s Deadliest Sniper” and his close friend Chad Littlefield were reportedly shot and killed by another former member of the U.S. military whom they were trying to help cope with the stress and pain that often haunts our returning warriors.


Image: TheBlaze

TheBlaze covered the story from the first moments the news broke of the shooting through the memorial service in Cowboys Stadium and even to his burial in Austin, Texas where more than 100 Navy SEAL tridents were hand-punched into Kyle’s coffin.


Image: AP

Chris Kyle was born in Odessa, Texas and raised as a cowboy in Midlothian, a small town south of Fort Worth. According to a story from the Professional Bull Riders website, Chris and his brother Jeff grew up as young ranchers who planned to serve their country in the military and then return home to raise cattle in Texas.

Both of the Kyle boys served in the military; Jeff from 2000 to 2008 and Chris from 1999 to 2009. It was during that decade that Chris proved to be an exceptional soldier and became the “most lethal sniper in U.S. military history” (which was the original subtitle of Kyle’s bestselling book).

Kyle was awarded several medals and commendations from the Navy and the Marines. His unsurpassed aim also earned him the respect of the enemy. The Iraqis dubbed him, “The Devil of Ramadi.” (Ramadi is the largest city in Iraq’s Anbar province.)


Almost a year after his murder, Kyle was honored by the Professional Bull Riders organization (PBR). Jeff Robinson of Robinson Bucking Bulls, one of the premier providers of livestock for the PBR, renamed a fierce (and as yet “unridden”) bull after Kyle, calling the animal The Devil of Ramadi.


Image: Robinson Bulls

TheBlaze asked Robinson about his connection to Kyle. He told us, “Ross Coleman and Luke Snyder (two retired PBR riders) introduced me to (Kyle’s) story, and came up with the name,” adding that he “thought it was an awesome way to show respect and support for such a unique individual.”


To mark the one-year anniversary of Kyle’s death, his parents, Wayne and Deby Kyle, along with Chris’ brother Jeff, are honoring Kyle with a special event benefiting others who also served America.


From February 7 to 9, the small town of Hamilton, Texas (population around 3,100) is hosting theFirst Annual Chris Kyle Memorial Roping and Auction. The three-day event features a full schedule of activities for families and individuals. All of the money raised over the weekend will benefit Base Camp 40 (BC40), a non-profit organization that helps returning vets.

According to the event’s organizers, the Kyle family suggested Base Camp 40 receive the first year’s proceeds.

“Chris was involved in Base Camp 40,” event organizer Chris Douglas told TheBlaze. “He attended one of their hunts in October of 2012, and in typical Chris Kyle fashion, became part of the BC40 family.” Douglas was also emphatic in stating that 100 percent of the event’s proceeds are going to Base Camp 40.


The schedule at next weekend’s Chris Kyle Memorial Roping & Auction includes several roping events, a sold-out VIP dinner on Saturday night, and a full day of activities Sunday that kicks off with an 8 a.m. church service.


Image: Chris Kyle Memorial Roping Event

Of course, you don’t need to travel to Texas to be part of the event. There are ample opportunities to purchase merchandise from the event’s website. T-shirts, patches, hoodies, and jackets can be found on the site’s “Gear” section.

And another appropriate way to remember and learn more about Chris Kyle is by pondering the words of his parents, who emailed the following to the event’s organizer:

Check out the latest details on next weekend’s Chris Kyle Memorial Roping & Auction event.

From cowboy boots to combat boots… Chris’s dreams were to be a cowboy and a Navy SEAL. He accomplished both and with a determination that is rarely seen. He loved the country life with cattle and especially horses.

He learned to ride at an early age and then began to rodeo. From that he became an accomplished cowboy with his ability to break and train horses. Up before dawn, in the saddle all day to way past dark at times.

He was extremely happy, but one goal was yet to be accomplished, Navy SEAL. When he got the call to inquire about his interest, he jumped at the opportunity. Several people told him he could never become a SEAL.

Well one thing is for sure, you never told Chris he could never do anything because he wouldprove you wrong…His service to his Beloved Country is a testament to his determination, fortitude, conviction, and warrior spirit.

He achieved his goal.

Follow Mike Opelka on Twitter – @stuntbrain

Edited by vietnam1969
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is honored on Panel 36E, Row 78 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

- See more at:                           :salute:

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2824.jpg Russell Albert SteindamDate of birth: August 27, 1946
Date of death: February 1, 1970
Burial location: Dallas, Texas
Place of Birth: Texas, Austin
Home of record: Austin Texas
Status: KIA
Medal of HonorSee more recipients of this award

Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to First Lieutenant (Infantry) Russell Albert Steindam (ASN: 455745716), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 3d Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, in action against enemy aggressor forces at Tay Ninh Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 1 February 1970. First Lieutenant Steindam, Troop B, while serving as a platoon leader, led members of his platoon on a night ambush operation. On the way to the ambush site, suspected enemy movement was detected on one flank and the platoon's temporary position was subjected to intense small arms and automatic weapons fire as well as a fusillade of hand and rocket-propelled grenades. After the initial barrage, First Lieutenant Steindam ordered fire placed on the enemy position and the wounded men to be moved to a shallow bomb crater. As he directed the return fire against the enemy from his exposed position, a fragmentation grenade was thrown into the site occupied by his command group. Instantly realizing the extreme gravity of the situation, First Lieutenant Steindam shouted a warning to alert his fellow soldiers in the immediate vicinity. Then, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his safety, First Lieutenant Steindam deliberately threw himself on the grenade, absorbing the full and fatal force of the explosion as it detonated. By his gallant action and self-sacrifice, he was able to save the lives of the nearby members of his command group. The extraordinary courage and selflessness displayed by First Lieutenant Steindam were an inspiration to his comrades and are in the highest traditions of the United States Army.

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 3 (January 25, 1972)

Action Date: February 1, 1970

Service: Army

Rank: First Lieutenant

Company: Troop B, 3d Squadron

Regiment: 4th Cavalry Regiment

Division: 25th Infantry Division             :salute:       
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3467.jpg James K. GibsonDate of birth: July 15, 1930
Place of Birth: Texas, Quitman
Air Force CrossSee more recipients of this award

Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Colonel James K. Gibson (AFSN: 0-53569), United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as an O-1 Pilot and Forward Air Controller attached as Air Liaison Officer to the 3d Brigade, 9th Infantry Division (U.S. Army), in action in Southeast Asia on 2 February 1968. On that date, Major Gibson flew his unarmed aircraft against hostile forces which had attacked a friendly location. Despite intense automatic and anti-aircraft weapons fire which damaged his aircraft and wounded him, Major Gibson, with undaunted determination and courage, repeatedly brought confusion and disorder to the hostile forces by diving his small aircraft at their positions and firing his individual weapon, thereby driving them out into the open where they came under the effective fire of friendly forces. His control and direction of fighter aircraft resulted in the defeat of the hostile forces and saved innumerable friendly lives. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness, Major Gibson reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: 2-Feb-68

Service: Air Force

Rank: Colonel

Company: Air Liaison Officer (Attached)

Regiment: 3d Brigade

Division: 9th Infantry Division (U.S. Army)
Silver StarSee more recipients of this award

Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Colonel James K. Gibson (AFSN: 0-53569), United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while serving as an O-1 Pilot and Forward Air Controller attached as Air Liaison Officer to the 3d Brigade, 9th Infantry Division (U.S. Army), directing fighter aircraft in the Republic of Vietnam on 8 January 1968. On that date, Major Gibson flew in support of friendly ground forces ambushed by a superior enemy force. Major Gibson repeatedly made courageous passes over the hostile weapon positions in order to draw their fire from the beleaguered friendly forces and to mark the unfriendly positions for supporting aircraft. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Major Gibson has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

General Orders: Headquarters, 7th Air Force, Special Order G-1361 (May 7, 1968)

Action Date: 8-Jan-68

Service: Air Force

Rank: Colonel

Company: Air Liaison Officer (Attached)

Regiment: 3d Brigade

Division: 9th Infantry Division (U.S. Army)
Distinguished Flying CrossSee more recipients of this award

Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Colonel James K. Gibson (AFSN: 0-53569), United States Air Force, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as a Forward Air Controller in Southeast Asia on 27 December 1967. On that date, Major Gibson flew his unarmed observation aircraft in support of friendly ground forces besieged by .50 caliber automatic crew-served weapons. Major Gibson made repeated low passes over these positions to draw their hostile fire and expose themselves to attack from fighter aircraft. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Major Gibson reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: 27-Dec-67

Service: Air Force

Rank: Colonel                                        :salute:
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The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients

Featuring Marine Medal of Honor Recipients From WWII-Korea-Viet Nam And Iraqi Freedom



  United States Marine Corps gonzalezfreddy.jpg

Alfredo Gonzalez


Sergeant Alfredo Gonzalez 
United States Marine Corps

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Platoon Commander, Third Platoon, Company A, First Battalion. First Marines, First Marine Division, in the Republic  of Vietnam. On 31 January 1968, during the initial phase of Operation HUE CITY Sergeant Gonzales' unit was formed as a reaction force and deployed to Hue  to relieve the pressure on the beleaguered city. While moving by truck convoy along Route #1, near the village of Lang Van Lrong, the Marines received a heavy volume of enemy fire. Sergeant Gonzalez aggressively maneuvered the Marines in his platoon, and directed their fire until the area was cleared of snipers. Immediately after crossing a river south of Hue, the column was again hit by intense enemy fire.  One of the Marines on top of a tank was wounded and fell to the ground in a exposed position. With complete disregard for his own safety, Sergeant Gonzalez ran through the fire-swept area to the assistance of his injured comrade. He lifted him up and though receiving fragmentation wounds during the rescue, he carried the wounded Marine to a covered position for treatment.  Due to the increased volume and accuracy of enemy fire from a fortified machine gun bunker of the side of the road, the company was temporarily halted. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Sergeant Gonzalez exposed himself to the enemy fire and moved his platoon along the east side of a bordering rice paddy to a dike directly across from the bunker. Though fully aware of the danger involved, he moved to the fire-swept  road and destroyed the hostile position with grenades. Although seriously wounded again on 3 February, he steadfastly refused medical treatment and continued to supervise his men and lead the attack. On 4 February, the enemy had again pinned the company down, inflicting heavy casualties with automatic weapons and rocket fire. Sergeant Gonzalez, utilizing a number of light antitank assault weapons, fearlessly moved from position to position firing numerous rounds at the heavily fortified enemy emplacements. He successfully knocked out a rocket position and suppressed much of the enemy fire before falling mortally wounded. The heroism, courage, and dynamic leadership displayed by Sergeant Gonzalez reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Richard M. Nixon 
President of the United States

Footnote:  Alfredo Cantu Gonzalez was born on May 23, 1946, Edinburg TX to Andres Cantu and Dolia Gonzalez. He was an All-District football player at Edinburg High School in spite of his weight of 135 lbs. He joined the Marine Corps Reserve after graduating from high school in June of 1965. He then joined the regular Marine Corps on July 6, 1965. He served on tour in Vietnam as a rifleman and squad leader with Company L, Third Battalion, Fourth Marines, Third Marine Division. On January 1, 1966 he was promoted to PFC, in October to Lance Corporal and on December to Corporal. Upon his return to the States in January 1967 he served as a rifleman with the Second Battalion, Sixth Marines, Second Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, N.C.. On July 1, 1967 he was promoted to Sergeant and later that month he was transferred to Vietnam for his second tour of duty as a member of Company A, First Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division. He was serving as a Platoon Leader at the Battle of Hue City when as the only man was cited to receive the MOH. 
He is buried at the Hillcrest Cemetery in Edinburg, TX and the Hidalgo County Museum houses various materials relating to his life. There are several notable locations named in honor of this great man. Among these are; The Freddy Gonzalez Elementary School , The Alfredo Cantu Gonzalez American Legion Post in Edinburg, The Alfredo Gonzalez Dining Hall at Truax Field. Edinburg named a street, Freddy Gonzalez Drive and the high school has the Alfredo Gonzalez Athletic Award. Camp Lejuene has Alfredo Gonzelez Boulevard. The Navy commissioned the USS Alfredo Gonzalez, a missile launcher, in 1997. It was the first ship named for a Hispanic Texan military man. His medals include the Purple Heart, the Presidential Unit Citation, The National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Star, The Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm, The Military Merit Award and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign. 
In 1997 there was a lot of press given to Mrs. Dolia Gonzalez's battle with the VA which claimed that they had overpaid her by $7000.00 in benefits for Freddy. Mrs. Gonzalez, still a waitress in Edinburg, agreed to repay them a small amount monthly until her Representative in Washington began working in her behalf for the VA to forgive the overpayment. The supermarket chain, Albertson's, based in Idaho, offered to pay the debt, but finally the VA dropped the claim.

Early life

Freddy Gonzalez was the child of Andrés Cantu and Dolia Gonzalez. He was raised by his mother in Edinburg, where he played on the Edinburg High School football team and graduated in 1965. On June 3 of that same year, Gonzalez travelled to San Antonio, Texas, to enlist in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. A little more than a month later, on July 6, he enlisted in the regular Marines Corps. Pvt. Gonzalez went through recruit training in September and individual combat training in October before being transferred to Vietnam in January 1966. That same month, Pvt. Gonzalez was promoted to a Private First Class.


First Tour: January 1966 to January 1967

PFC Gonzalez served as a rifleman and squad leader during his first tour in Vietnam. He was promoted to lance corporal in October and to corporal in December.

Cpl. Gonzalez returned to the United States in January 1967. He was stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina to prepare recruits for guerrilla warfare; he ultimately wanted to be transferred to the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas. Here he would be 150 miles (approximately a two hours' drive) away from Edinburg, where his mother, girlfriend (Delia Becerra) , and other friends lived. Cpl. Gonzalez's plan was to spend the rest of his time in Corpus Christi, then return home to Edinburg when his time with the Marines was over.

However, several months after Cpl. Gonzalez returned to the United States, he learned of an entire platoon that was ambushed and killed. Cpl. Gonzalez felt responsible for the deaths of some of these men as some of them had served under him while he was in Vietnam. Cpl. Gonzalez then volunteered for a second tour.

Second Tour: July 1967 to February 1968

Cpl. Gonzalez was transferred to Camp Pendleton in California in May 1967 in preparation of sending him back to Vietnam. He was promoted to sergeanton July 1 and shipped out later that month.

On January 311968, Sgt. Gonzalez was the platoon sergeant of a platoon of marines that was bringing relief to Hue City, Vietnam via a truck convoy. As the truck convoy neared the village of Lang Van Lrong, Viet Cong soldiers, dressed as civilians, attacked. Gonzalez and his troops counter-attacked and drove the enemy soldiers away. One Marine who was atop a tank was hit and fell off the tank. Sgt. Gonzalez was wounded when he ran through heavy fire to retrieve the wounded Marine. Several days later, on February 3, he was wounded again, but refused medical treatment, ordering the medics to take care of the other Marines.

On February 4, Sgt. Gonzalez and his platoon engaged the Viet Cong, who were holed up in St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Hue City, firing at the Americans with rockets and automatic weapons. Almost single-handedly, Sgt. Gonzalez neutralized the enemy with a barrage of LAW rockets. When it became quiet, it was thought that all of the Viet Cong inside the church had been killed. However, one had survived, and he shot and killed Sgt. Gonzalez.

Military Awards and Other Honors

Sgt. Gonzalez is buried at Hillcrest Cemetery in Edinburg. The Hidalgo County Historical Museum, also in Edinburg, has his uniform and medals on display.

In addition to the Medal of Honor, Sgt. Gonzalez also received the following military medals:

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                                              SP4  LARRY RALPH LALAN                                  02/03/1948-----11/10/1968


                                                                                                                                   R I P                                             :salute:

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With him when he died.

Posted on 10/20/01 - by John McPherson

Weapons Platoon, A co., 1/503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade. In firefight in bunker complex 5 Feb. 67, Spittler, Bob Ecker and I were advancing together. They both died. Medic Ken "Doc" Rypka and I, eventually joined by another, tried in vain to get Spittler "back" to the lines - he, we, were under intense fire from a bunker immediately in front of us. I was holding his hands trying to pull him free as he died. Our eyes were in contact. I didn't know Spittler well tho we were acquainted - he had the reputation of being a top notch Trooper and I was more than comfortable working alongside he and Bob. "Doc" Rypka, the other guy helping (Smith?) and I were all three wounded at the same time by one or more grenades. Medic Ken "Doc" Rypka, 2nd Plt. RTO Luigi Muzzin and I have gotten together often and THIS is the topic of conversation. A special wall at the entrance of my house over my work area hosts photos of the time (I have none of him) including rubbings from the wall of both he and Bob made on 5 Feb 1987. He's with me every day

- See more at:                 :salute: 

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During the Tet Offensive, the North Vietnamese captured Michael Benge, an American civilian economic development officer in South Vietnam. He was a POW for five years, held in camps in South Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and North Vietnam. Michael's captors placed him in solitary confinement for twenty-seven months: one year in a "black box," and one year in Cambodia in a cage just like the one shown here. This photo was snapped in 2000. Michael is shown reenacting his experience as a POW to raise money to support a lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency. This was in hopes of forcing the CIA to release documents relating to the thousands of American POWs and MIAs who remain unaccounted for. The suit claims that two presidents have ordered the CIA to release the documents but the CIA has yet to do so.

You will see items like this at The Education Center, and take a deeper look at how the war affected people like Michael across the globe. Join the movement to help us build it:

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Today we honor Cpl Roy Cisneros ( Navy Cross recipient)  USMC  who would have been 64 years old today. Cpl Cisneros gave his life by charging an enemy position in order for his platoon to move to a safer place. 




For Extraordinary Heroism while serving as a Squad Leader with Company B, First Battalion, Third Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam on

11 September 1968.

While conducting a reconnaissance in force, Company B came under intense small arms and automatic
weapons fire from a North Vietnam Army Company occupying fortified positions on Hill 461 in Quang Tri Province.

During the ensuing firefight, Corporal Cisneros skillfully maneuvered his squad across the hazardous terrain
and, directing the fire of his men with devastating accuracy, was instrumental in the destruction of three enemy bunkers.

When his men were pinned-down by a heavy volume of fire from a fourth emplacement, he boldly advanced andsingle-handedly attempted to destroy the enemy position. After firing a light anti-tank assault weapon into the bunker, he fearlessly hurled hand grenades at the defenders as he aggressively continued the assault.

Disregarding his own safety, he commenced rifle fire and delivered effective fire upon the North Vietnameseemplacements, when mortally wounded by enemy fire. His resolute determination and intrepid fighting spirit inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in his unit accounting for 45 North Vietnamese soldiers confirmedkilled. By his courage, aggressive leadership and self-less devotion to duty,
Corporal Cisneros upheld the highest tradition of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

(Source:Stevens, Paul Drew, edited by.The Navy Cross: Citations of Awards of the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps, 1964-1973. Forest Ranch: Sharp & Dunnigan Publications,1987. Page 63)        

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In February of 1968, Marines scale a mound of rubble as they fight their way into the NVA stronghold in the Citadel – the ancient Imperial capital’s fortress – during the battle for Hue, one of the longest and bloodiest battles during Vietnam.

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                            COL LEWIS L MILLETT DIED IN 2009      



Lewis L. Millett, 88 Lewis L. Millett, 88; daring, highly decorated Army officer  
Col. Lewis L. Millett's unconventional Army career included a court-martial under unusual circumstances during World War II. (Courtesy Of Army Historical Foundation)
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By Adam Bernstein
Washington Post Staff Writer 
Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Lewis L. Millett, 88, a career Army officer who was briefly and somewhat misleadingly court-martialed for desertion during World War II and went on to receive the Medal of Honor for leading a bayonet charge during the Korean War, died Nov. 14 at a veterans hospital in Loma Linda, Calif. He had congestive heart failure.

Col. Millett, who sported a red handlebar mustache, cut an audacious and unconventional path during his 35 years of military service. He led daring attacks in two wars and was instrumental in starting a reconnaissance commando school to train small units for covert operations in Vietnam.

He also was an Army deserter. He later said he had been so eager to "help fight fascism and Hitler" that he left an Air Corps gunnery school in mid-1941 -- months before the U.S. entry into World War II -- to enlist with the Canadian army and go overseas. He manned an antiaircraft gun during the London blitz before rejoining the U.S. Army, which had by that time declared war and apparently was not being overly meticulous in its background checks.

As an antitank gunner in Tunisia, he earned the Silver Star after he jumped into a burning ammunition-filled halftrack, drove it away from allied soldiers and leapt to safety just before the vehicle exploded. Not long after, he shot down a German Messerschmitt Me-109 fighter that was strafing Allied troops. Col. Millett, who was firing from machine guns mounted on a halftrack, hit the pilot through the windshield.

He had fought his way through Italy, participating in the campaigns at Salerno and Anzio, when his paperwork caught up with him. A superior officer told him that he was being court-martialed for his desertion to Canada and that his punishment was $52. He also received a battlefield promotion for fearlessness in combat.

His letters back home were unfiltered epithets aimed at the chain of command. "Letters were censored in World War II, and the next thing I knew I was standing before the battery commander," he told the journal Military History. "He told me that the War Department had ordered three times that I be court-martialed. They finally did it to prevent someone from really throwing the book at me later. Then a few weeks later they made me a second lieutenant! I must be the only Regular Army colonel who has ever been court-martialed and convicted of desertion."


During the Korean War, he received the military's highest awards for valor, including the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross, for two bayonet charges he led as a company commander in February 1951.

"We had acquired some Chinese documents stating that Americans were afraid of hand-to-hand fighting and cold steel," he told Military History. "When I read that, I thought, 'I'll show you, you sons of *******!' "

He was awarded the Medal of Honor for leading a charge up Hill 180 near Soam-Ni on Feb. 7. When one of his platoons was pinned down by heavy fire, he placed himself at the head of two other platoons and ordered the men to charge up the hill.

According to his Medal of Honor citation, he bayoneted several enemy soldiers and lobbed grenades in their direction while rallying his men to fight. Grenade fragments pierced Col. Millett's shin, but he refused medical evacuation.

"Despite vicious opposing fire, the whirlwind hand-to-hand assault carried to the crest of the hill," the Medal of Honor citation read. "His dauntless leadership and personal courage so inspired his men that they stormed into the hostile position and used their bayonets with such lethal effect that the enemy fled in wild disorder."

Charles H. Cureton, director of Army museums at the U.S. Army Center of Military History, said that Col. Millett's intimidating, close-combat bayonet charge was "very unusual. By the time you get to the Second World War, the range of lethality of weapons is such that a bayonet charge is very hazardous."

Lewis Lee Millett was born Dec. 15, 1920, in Mechanic Falls, Maine, and grew up with his mother in South Dartmouth, Mass., after his parents divorced. After his Korean War service, he went through Ranger training at Fort Benning, Ga., and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division as an intelligence officer. He later was sent to Vietnam as a military adviser to a controversial intelligence program called Phoenix, which killed thousands of suspected Viet Cong and their sympathizers in an effort to destroy the Viet Cong infrastructure in towns and villages.

He said he retired in 1973 because he was convinced that the United States had "quit" in Vietnam. He championed the return of U.S. prisoners of war from Vietnam and then worked as a deputy sheriff in Trenton, Tenn., before settling in the San Jacinto Mountains resort village of Idyllwild, Calif., across the street from an American Legion post.

His first marriage, to the former Virginia Young, ended in divorce. His second wife, Winona Williams Millett, died in 1993. Survivors include three children from his second marriage, L. Lee Millett Jr. and Timothy Millett, both of Idyllwild, and Elizabeth Millett of Nevada; three sisters; a brother; and four grandchildren.

A son from his second marriage, Army Staff Sgt. John Millett, died in the 1985 airplane crash in Gander, Newfoundland, that killed more than 240 U.S. service members returning from a peacekeeping mission in the Middle East.

Reflecting on his career, Col. Millett once told an interviewer: "I believe in freedom, I believe deeply in it. I've fought in three wars, and volunteered for all of them, because I believed as a free man, that it was my duty to help those under the attack of tyranny. Just as simple as that.


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Eugene Ashley, Jr.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Eugene Ashley, Jr. 130px-Eugene_Ashley_Jr.jpg
Medal of Honor recipient
Born October 12, 1930 or 1931[1]
Wilmington, North Carolina Died February 7, 1968 (aged 36)
Killed in action at Lang VeiVietnam Place of burial Rockfish Memorial Park, Fayetteville, North Carolina Allegiance United States of America Service/branch United States Army Years of service 1950 - 1968 Rank Sergeant First Class Unit 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces Battles/wars Battle of Lang Vei Awards

Eugene Ashley, Jr. (October 12, 1930 or 1931[1] – February 7, 1968) was a United States Army Special Forces soldier and a recipient of America's highest military decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in the Vietnam War.




Sgt. Ashley was born in Wilmington, NC on October 12, 1931, to Eugene Ashley Sr. and Cornelia Ashley he had a sister named Gertrude Ashley. Not long after his birth, his family moved to New York City where Eugene, Jr. attended Alexander Hamilton High School. Ashley joined the Army from New York City in December 1950[2] and served in the Korean War. By February 6, 1968, he was serving as a sergeant first class in Company C of the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces in Vietnam. On that day, Ashley led an assault force in an attempt to rescue American troops trapped by North Vietnamese infantry and tanks during the Battle of Lang Vei. He led several assaults against the enemy and was mortally wounded in his fifth and last attempt to reach the American forces. He was subsequently awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle.[3]

Eugene Ashley's body was returned to the United States and buried in Rockfish Memorial Park, Fayetteville, North Carolina.[4]

Eugene Ashley High School in Wilmington, North Carolina was named after him.

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Sergeant Ashley's Medal was posthumously awarded to his family at the White House by Vice President Spiro T. Agnew on December 2, 1969.

His official Medal of Honor citation reads:

Sfc. Ashley, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while serving with Detachment A-101, Company C. Sfc. Ashley was the senior special forces Advisor of a hastily organized assault force whose mission was to rescue entrapped U.S. special forces advisors at Camp Lang Vei. During the initial attack on the special forces camp by North Vietnamese army forces, Sfc. Ashley supported the camp with high explosive and illumination mortar rounds. When communications were lost with the main camp, he assumed the additional responsibility of directing air strikes and artillery support. Sfc. Ashley organized and equipped a small assault force composed of local friendly personnel. During the ensuing battle, Sfc. Ashley led a total of 5 vigorous assaults against the enemy, continuously exposing himself to a voluminous hail of enemy grenades, machine gun and automatic weapons fire. Throughout these assaults, he was plagued by numerous booby-trapped satchel charges in all bunkers on his avenue of approach. During his fifth and final assault, he adjusted air strikes nearly on top of his assault element, forcing the enemy to withdraw and resulting in friendly control of the summit of the hill. While exposing himself to intense enemy fire, he was seriously wounded by machine gun fire but continued his mission without regard for his personal safety. After the fifth assault he lost consciousness and was carried from the summit by his comrades only to suffer a fatal wound when an enemy artillery round landed in the area. Sfc. Ashley displayed extraordinary heroism in risking his life in an attempt to save the lives of his entrapped comrades and commanding officer. His total disregard for his personal safety while exposed to enemy observation and automatic weapons fire was an inspiration to all men committed to the assault. The resolute valor with which he led 5 gallant charges placed critical diversionary pressure on the attacking enemy and his valiant efforts carved a channel in the overpowering enemy forces and weapons positions through which the survivors of Camp Lang Vei eventually escaped to freedom. Sfc. Ashley's bravery at the cost of his life was in the highest traditions of the military service, and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

See                                                                                                   :salute: 

Edited by vietnam1969
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Great idea, here's one from the unit I was in.

These thing we do so That Others May Live, motto of the Pararescumen.


Born in 1944 in Piqua, Ohio, William H. Pitsenbarger was an ambitious only child. He wanted to quit high school to join the U.S. Army Special Forces' "Green Berets," but his parents convinced him to stay in school. After graduating in 1962, Pitsenbarger joined the Air Force.

A1C Pitsenbarger learned his military skills in a series of demanding schools. After Air Force basic training, he volunteered for pararescue work and embarked on a rigorous training program, which included U.S. Army parachute school, survival school, a rescue and survival medical course, and the U.S. Navy's scuba diving school. More Air Force rescue training and jungle survival school followed. His final training was in air crash rescue and firefighting, with assignment to the HH-43 Huskie helicopter.

Arriving in Vietnam in August 1965, Pitsenbarger completed more than 250 missions, including one in which he hung from an HH-43's cable to rescue a wounded South Vietnamese soldier from a burning minefield. This action earned him the Airman's Medal and the Republic of Vietnam's Medal of Military Merit and Gallantry Cross with Bronze Palm.

William H. Pitsenbarger was only 21 years old when he was killed in action. But in his short life and valorous Air Force career, he was an example of dedication, compassion and tenacity for all those with whom he served. In his work, and especially on his final mission, Airman 1st Class Pitsenbarger embodied the pararescueman's motto: "That Others May Live."

The Last Mission 
"There was only one man on the ground that day that would have turned down a ride out of that hellhole -- and that man was Pitsenbarger."
- F. David Peters, Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division

In Vietnam Airman 1st Class William H. "Bill" Pitsenbarger gave his life so that others might live. A pararescueman, Pitsenbarger saved lives in an example of selfless heroism worthy of the Medal of Honor.

On April 11, 1966, in thick jungle near Saigon, an infantry company on 134 soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division (the "Big Red One") was surrounded by a Viet Cong battalion of approximately 500 troops. In a fierce firefight, the North Vietnamese surrounded and pinned down the Americans. As the battle went on, the number of U.S. casualties grew steadily.

Detachment 6 of the USAF's 38th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron received an urgent call to evacuate the wounded. Army helicopters could not land in the battle zone because there were no clearings in the tall, dense "triple canopy" forest. The tallest trees rose 150 feet, and a second layer stood at about 100 feet, with a third layer below. Only U.S. Air Force HH-43 Huskie helicopters with cables and winches could hoist the injured from the jungle.

Airman Pitsenbarger was the rescue and survival specialist aboard "Pedro 73," one of the two Huskies on the mission. The Huskies were to take turns hoisting litters with critically wounded patients through the forest canopy and delivering them to a nearby airfield. Pedro 73's crew, while under fire and hovering in a hole in the forest below the tallest trees and barely large enough for the Huskie, saw that the ground troops desperately needed help loading wounded into the litter. Pitsenbarger volunteered to be lowered to the ground to help. He descended a hundred feet into the firefight with a medical bag, a supply of splints, a rifle and a pistol.

On the ground, Pitsenbarger organized and speeded the evacuation, enabling the Huskies to rescue nine soldiers on several trips. Normally, pararescuemen return to the helicopter, but Pitsenbarger chose to stay and help the beleaguered troops. As the fight continued, Pedro 73 was badly damaged by ground fire and forced to withdraw. Rather than escape with the last Huskie, Pitsenbarger chose to stay on the ground and aid the wounded. Soon the firefight grew too intense for the helicopters to return.

As darkness fell, Pitsenbarger not only cared for the wounded, but also collected and distributed ammunition to the surviving soldiers several times under enemy fire. In the early evening he was mortally wounded fighting alongside the remaining infantrymen. The Viet Cong withdrew during the night, and the following morning U.S. forces were able to recover survivors and the fallen. Charlie Company had suffered 80 percent casualties.

For coordinating the successful rescues, caring for the wounded and sacrificing his life while aggressively defending his comrades, William H. Pitsenbarger received the Air Force Cross on June 30, 1966. After review, the original award was upgraded, and on Dec. 8, 2000, the Medal of Honor was presented to his family in a ceremony at the U.S. Air Force Museum. Airman Pitsenbarger is the 59th Medal of Honor recipient, and sixth enlisted recipient, from the Air Force and its predecessor organizations.

Click on the following links for more information about Pitsenbarger.

Museum News Release on Medal Ceremony
Air Force News Release on Medal Ceremony
Special Operations Command News Release
Mission Chronology and Maps
Detachment 6, 38th ARRS Mission Narrative for April 11, 1966
Eyewitness Account by Staff Sgt. David E. Milsten
Eyewitness Account by Army Sgt. Fred C. Navarro
Background Information by Airman 1st Class Harry J. O'Beirne

Click here to return to Combat Search and Rescue in Southeast Asia.


Edited by AKVET
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